Not even 300,000 people live in Iceland, so remarking about the lack of bands from this island would be quite asinine, though compared to their immense neighbor Greenland, Iceland was a veritable hotbed. The foursome is one of the more well-known bands from this area, which really isn’t saying much ‘cause their sole release will still run you around $400 in the end. Musically, Icecross play heavy rock that one reviewer compared to Black Sabbath, but this judgment is so off the mark I almost think the guy impossibly never heard the British quartet. Moreover, the frigid three-piece’s style is more anomalous in its simplicity; heavy, bordering on wild at times, yet very lightly progressive for a musically untight band, and the malnourished production really does nothing to aid the cause.
Despite the aid of three reputable sources, a discrepancy of the year (1972-73) this lp was originally released still remains, but what’s one year (or even two months: Dec-Jan.). I don’t think the extra time would’ve improved on this much. Kicking off the lp is the strange “Solution”, a vocally-repetitive and somewhat downtrodden episode with some of the weirdest and discordant soloing I can remember, to the point where I can’t quite tell yet if guitarist Axel Einarsson is any good. “A Sad Man’s Story” is the loneliness and melancholy which borne the lyrics under the title; a heartfelt tale lightly strummed and tinkling sadly with piano while the dejected vocals of either Axel or Omar Oskarsson complete the wounded undertow. An absolute antipode to the woe is the follow-up “Jesus Freaks”, perhaps the most prominent and heaviest on the album. Harking solos cry over semi-doomy riffs that are infiltrated by feral drum work that plays like a jigsaw puzzle launched into the air, making way for lungs now severe and wailing compared to the initial tracks. If there’s one thing you’ll remember about this lp, it’s the chorus “We believe in Jesus, we believe in us, we believe in ourselves…” “Wandering Around” has a definite Zeppelin “Rock and Roll” zing to it up to and including the short psychedelic drum solo at the song’s core and sounds like something the Stray Cats would cover in the future. The lightly echoed vocals are at their zenith here. From there, “1999” inharmoniously blasts to life with a keening solo, very dissonant riffs, and some pretty awful singing. Becoming more impressed with the percussion of Asgeir Oskarsson, I began looking forward to his next barbaric drum rant, which would take place about six seconds into the subjugated, yet oddly vibrant “Scared”. A straightforward punk riff opens the hasty “Nightmare”. An untight drum, solo, and riff ensemble runs chaotically rampant here, sounding more like a bunch of session musicians going bonkers, but reigning it in is “The End”, the rolling-paced finale with perhaps the most fitting vocals of the lp.
Axel P. J. Einarsson - Guitars, Vocals
B. Omar Oskarsson - Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Asgeir Oskarsson - Drums, Bass (A Sad Man's Story), Percussion, Backing Vocals
Gusti - Beerbringing, Coffeemaking, Recordhelping
01. Solution (5:32)
02. A Sad Man's Story (2:47)
03. Jesus Freaks (5:37)
04. Wandering Around (3:21)
05. 1999 (4:57)
06. Scared (3:52)
07. Nightmare (4:50)
08. The End (5:31)
Skin-crawling, belligerently atheistic horror-doom-downer-jazz-freakrock from early '70s iceland. what a drummer (a pan-exalting keith moon), what a singer...extraordinary looseness and an amateurish feel to the proceedings, but what SONGS!
Rip from CD 256@ (full artwork included)